UV filtering acrylic boxes

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sep 23, 2003
Excelsior, MN
I've never ordered an acrylic box made from uv filtering acrylic before. When I inquired from my usual vendor I was quoted a price more than 3 times higher than reg. acrylic. Seems like an awful big jump in price to me. Anyone have experience with this?
Most "real" acrylic fabricators buy standard acrylic sheets by the pallet. UV-filtering acrylic is a product most acrylic fabricators buy in small quantities, and their cost is therefore disproportionately higher.

Check with the acrylic fabricators who cater to framers, such as Gemini/Showcase Acrylics in Chicago and Superior Acrylic Framing in California. These folks may have a better deal on the UV-filtering boxes.

I'm not sure about Superior, but Gemini/Showcase can now build acrylic boxes out of Optium Museum acrylic, which has anti-reflection coatings as well as UV-filtering...almost invisible.

Another alternative would be to build a glass box, using the specially-shaped, wooden edge mouldings made a supplier such as Southwinds.
Regular acrylic blocks quite a bit of UV as it is. It blocks a wide band of UV radiation that soda-lime glass lets through (310-360 nanometer range). The UV filtering grades block small band between this and just into the visible range.
The way I see it:
Standard glass vs. UV filtering glass = Big difference.
Standard acrylic vs. UV filtering acrylic = Big deal.
Thanks for the input. I'll try checking with Gemini for a second opinion. Can't find info on contact for Superior although they've often been mentioned here, but Gemini is much closer geographicaly. I'm sure my vendor does pay a premium for UV acrylic but I just assume that labor is the real bulk of the cost and would be surpised to learn that it's much harder to work with. John, seen any nice light charts? I can never remember the numbers involved relating to the spectrum. I'm more of a visual type I guess, given enough light to see that is. I think it would be a nice aid to show some customers what glazing can and can't do too.
For the class coming up in Atlanta, "Glazing as a Design Element", the handout will include a graphic of the light spectrum comparing the UV-filtering characteristics of glass & acrylic, ordinary vs UV-filtering types.
So reg acrylic might block nearly 100% of 80% of the UV range? Or maybe I should just say nearly 80% blockage while for conservation purposes we'd like to see 97 or 98%. Is that on track?
I'd avoid the double percentages as that is confusing. To a customer, UV is a single “entity” that they want blocked from their art. While technically inaccurate, to say x type of acrylic blocks n% is the easiest for the customer to understand. The exact percentage of blockage by a given material depends on many variables, but to say 75-80% for regular acrylic and around 95% or better for uv filtering is good enough.
There is always the poosibility I could confuse somebody other than myself when explaining something they know I don't understand. I will try to avoid that except in completly uneccesary circumstances and will continue to attemt to only confuse myself.